Use Lean Everywhere, Not Just in the Office

by JoeWhite 4. May 2010 08:56
Like most of you, I thoroughly enjoyed a long weekend celebrating Easter recently.  The extra day off gave me some time to work around the house and while I did, I got to thinking about Lean and how it applies almost everywhere.    In fact, the Lean Tools almost form a foundation that has allowed us to progress and create ever more complex technologies. 

OK, I know this may be a little bit of a stretch and I’m not saying that without Lean techniques, we would still be using square wheels, BUT the core beliefs of Lean certainly align with those that have enabled us to advance.  For instance, the Lean concept of Standard Work forms a foundation for improvement much like any other standard practice.  Once a new idea has proven effective, it must be shared.  At first, others adopt the practice and learn to apply it.  Then they improve on it and the sharing of the new idea starts all over.    When work is standardized, the same principle applies.  Others can be trained to perform the task in the standard way, and then improvements can be made.  If there is no standard method, it is impossible to tell if a change has a positive impact or a negative one.

Another foundational principal of Lean is the implementation of small improvements to our daily work. This concept is often called Kaizen: continuous change for the better.  Most of us are continually seeking to improve our daily lives by reducing the amount of time different tasks take.   In fact, we spend a great deal of money seeking to make tasks such as cleaning and yard work easier and faster.  If we use the Lean principles such as 5S (Workplace Organization) and Waste Reduction, we can eliminate waste in our daily work both professionally and personally.

Standard Work, waste elimination, Kaizen and many other powerful tools of Lean can be applied to our everyday lives to reduce frustration, improve efficiency and increase effectiveness.  Maybe in later posts, we will discuss some others.  I am pondering a video post on applying Setup Reduction to our daily lives, but let’s see what you think of this concept first.  Please let me know.  Chime in with examples of small improvements to your daily life that fall into this thought process or ideas for future posts on this topic.


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Categories: Continuous Improvement | General | Lean | Lean Office

We are Live!

by Darian 22. March 2010 15:23

Ok, so slightly late but we finally caught up to the power of blogging.  We never thought about using this medium before because we weren’t about to employ it as yet another marketing tool.  However, after understanding the potential to use it to educate, express our views, test new and innovative ideas with you all and just have conversations with great people, we said, “Now why didn’t we ever do this before?” 

With that said, we’re incredibly pleased to announce our blog.  It is our avenue to share new research, old ideas that need to be said over and over, and maybe some general frustrations with continuous improvement that hopefully we all share. We will cover traditional topics on Lean and Lean Six Sigma and will focus on new and unique topics like Lean Office, Lean Software Development, Lean IT and general applicability of Lean and Lean Six Sigma thinking in every department from Sales to Finance to HR.

In the end, we, the principles and associates of VRDS, Inc., will share our thoughts, experiences and insights on how to transform organizations to be more agile, respond to market and environmental changes quicker and deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction. 

Our bloggers have decades of industry experience and have seen, heard and battled much in our professional lives.  Thorugh our experiences, we hope you will  learn, grow and interact with us.   Feel free to post examples and pictures on topics that resonate with you or challenge us respectfully on those issues you don’t agree with so we can dialog about them.  Either way, we’d like to hear from you.

The next few posts will be on a 30+-part series on Office Wastes, a multi-part series on Office (dis)Organization, visual management in the Office and much more.  And please, feel free to suggest topics you want to learn about or explore further. 

You can follow VRDSinc on Twitter for tweets about new blogs, subscribe to the RSS feed or simply check back with us every 1 – 2 days for new posts.   Any way you choose to follow, all we ask is that you don’t be a stranger.

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Categories: General | Lean | Lean Office | Lean Six Sigma




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